Youth Empowerment and Environmental Sustainability
New Orleans has always been notable for its vivacious energy and culture. However, it is also important to address the ongoing battles the city faces underneath the face of celebration. After Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, the public school system of New Orleans was decimated and the schools within this system were forced to operate as charter schools, featuring a OneApp admissions process. This resulted in the separation of families and limited each child’s personal growth and expression. Their futures have become defined by what others have chosen for them instead of being guided by their own individual choices. In addition to these educational disparities, the youth of the city are also incarcerated with adults and unjustly sentenced increasing their likelihood of recidivism by 34%. Louisiana has just been seated at the second highest incarceration rate, after being removed from the position of the first highest. Another aspect to consider is that some of the citizens in New Orleans experience a high concentration of food deserts in impoverished areas. And moreover, instead of improving these areas in addressing the expansive population of overgrown empty lots and the unequal allocation of housing resources, the community is left waiting for potential growth and renovation. The New Orleans Poverty Rate is twice the national average making these fallacies twice as important to attack and improve in order to re-emphasize the beauty of this historic land mass. The Howard University Alternative Spring Break Program is disheartened by these factors and would like to implement an initiative of empowering the youth and taking action in order to foster community development through restoration, highlighting the beauty that is New Orleans.
- Youth Empowerment